Want an easy to use, ready made resource for teaching programming in your classroom? Teaching children the basics of coding doesn't require buying any extra equipment, apps, or programs, because the fundamental principal of engineering is using critical thinking to find a way to solve a problem through a logical series of steps.
It is more developmentally appropriate to teach young children the process of coding through real world application than on a touch screen or tablet. Children need to experience the world through their senses in a tactile way in order to get the most from the experience. So why not teach coding through a game?
I've developed a fun lesson plan that uses card game to teach the basics of coding. In the game, children will use cards to lay out a program that their robot (the adult) must follow in order to perform a task. Can the child make the robot sit in a chair? Can the child make it walk out of the room? Or will the robot give the child an error message? You can start this game out with simple commands and then add complexity though loop and conditional cards. Don't let the word "kindergarten" on the name fool you, though I've build this game so that's it's simple enough for preschoolers to play, by adding the built in levels of complexity, kids as old as 12 can play this game.
I hope you and your children have a great time learning to program together. Use code STEM until the end of February to receive this lesson for free! Leave a comment if you need the instructions clarified and please share with me how it goes!
If you would like to continue the robot fun, try the new unit Reading, 'Rithmetic and Robots, in which you'll find lessons on language arts and mathematics with a fun robot theme!